Coulthard pursuing title dream

David Coulthard is more determined than ever to win his first World Championship title and prove his doubters wrong once and for all. That was the Scot's message when he came on stage at the AUTOSPORT International Show today (Saturday) to greet an enormous crowd of fans

Coulthard pursuing title dream

"I've been open to some criticism and there are those who don't believe I have the ability to win the championship but the only way that will ever change is if I actually do," said the McLaren-Mercedes driver who returns to testing duties in Barcelona next week. "What's important is that I believe I can and that belief is based on facts.

"Having raced with Michael (Schumacher) wheel-to-wheel and overtaken him, having won grands prix and some of them races that could be classed as difficult. After all Monaco isn't a race you win by accident. It's a very challenging circuit and I have been lucky enough to stand on the podium there twice."

Despite a season that began with high hopes and ended in defeat at the hands of Ferrari, Coulthard said that motivation is not a problem. "It's not difficult to stay motivated because the goal doesn't change.

"I can't ever imagine myself not wanting to give 100 per cent effort and anyone that doesn't doesn't deserve to be there. I realise that this period of my life is going to be for as many years as its going to be driving a grand prix car at 60. It's an absolute blast racing a grand prix car, it is the best thing I can imagine."

McLaren is one of the larger F1 teams that is set against wholesale changes to the sport's regulations to level the playing field, and Coulthard is in agreement: "I don't think we should artificially create results because there are plenty of one make-formulas like that and they don't have a global audience, but F1 does. It's a bit like if Arsenal or Man Utd win the Premiership, it wouldn't be fair then to take one player off their squad just to make sure the teams at the bottom of the Premiership have a chance."

Both McLaren and rival team Williams have opted for a radical approach to their 2003 challengers. The MP4-18 is not expected to appear before the San Marino Grand Prix but DC believes that the revised MP4-17B that he and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen will begin the season with, is already a step ahead of its predecessor in performance terms.

"There is a feeling that we haven't got the maximum out of the old car. What we found through December testing was that the developments we built during the year that we weren't sure were reliable enough to take into the grands prix made a substantial difference. We have now started running those fulltime and the car has taken a significant step forward.

"I'm really optimistic that we can be significantly quicker in Melbourne than we were with the same car last year. It also gives the team more time to keep developing the car in the wind tunnel and Mercedes more time to develop the engine."

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